Images and a video of an epic battle between a giant Pacific octopus and a harbor seal is now making its rounds on the internet after it has been caught on camera by an amateur photographer who happened to pass by and saw the animals struggle.
Bob Ianson, from British Columbia, Canada, was walking along the water at Ogden point with his family on Monday when he saw a seal and an octopus engaged in a ten-minute battle. He immediately took out his camera and captured the fight.
Ianson, who owns Heirloom Linens, a linen store, initially thought that the shapes that he saw in the waters were those of two harbor seals. It was not until the seal won the struggle and showed off its tentacle prey that he realized what these were.
Ianson related that the seal came up with the octopus in its mouth and looked at him in the eye as if proudly showing off its catch.
"I snapped off a couple pictures and he went back down with the octopus and came back up again," Ianson said. "The third time he came back up, the octopus was wrapped around the seal ... The octopus literally had the entire head of the seal."
The 59-year old businessman estimates that that the seal was about four and a half feet long, and while the seal appeared to have an edge on the fight, the octopus was not easily defeated. The seal tangled with the cephalopod for approximately ten minutes until its prey eventually gave up.
Although the weight of the octopus in the photos was not determined, this marine animal can weigh up to 50 pounds, says the Monterey Bay Aquarium report. The largest giant Pacific octopus to be recorded had a weight of 600 pounds and measured almost 30 feet across.
The photos that Ianson took is interesting but experts said that seals eating octopuses is not a rare occurrence. Chard Nordstrom, a research biologist with the Vancouver Aquarium, said that the octopus is actually a regular part of the diet of the harbor seal. It is just that capturing this on film rarely happens.
Harbor seals eat between 5 to 6 percent of their body weight daily. They hunt fish, molluscs and crustaceans. These animals do not also chew their food. They prefer to swallow their preys whole or tear them into chunks.